From Helpston in rural Northamptonshire, John Clare was born in 1793. He is now rightly regarded as the most important poet of the natural world from Britain.

He wrote many poems, essays, journals and letters about love, sex, corruption and politics, environmental and social change, poverty and folk life. Even in his madness, his talents were not diminished. Ronald Blythe, President of the John Clare Society, sees Clare as "... England's most articulate village voice".

Clare died on 20 May 1864, in his 71st year.  His remains were returned to Helpston for burial in St Botolph’s churchyard.

On the 20th May 2014 members of the 'John Clare Poet' facebook group gathered in the village on that date to mark the anniversary, and visited both Northborough and Patty Clare's grave, and Glinton and Mary Joyce's grave.  We enjoyed a meal together on the previous evening at a local inn.

On the weekend nearest his birth (13th July 1793) the John Clare Society Festival is held in the village and on the Friday afternoon, children from the John Clare Primary School in the village, parade from their school to St. Botolph's Church, placing their 'midsummer cushions' around Clare's gravestone in honour of their most famous resident.